replication and scaling initiative

Sharing Best Practices Through Playbooks


Miller Center has developed new service lines to transfer know-how from the most successful social enterprises to newer ones in similar industries and help the most promising enterprises multiply their impact by scaling-out into new markets and geographies.

Replication Playbooks

Playbooks convey crucial know-how, helping enterprises grow faster, with less capital and risk. We create and use playbooks to assist entrepreneurs put in place successful business models in high-impact sectors. We’ve launched playbooks and mentoring for last-mile distribution (LMD), microgrids, and retail eyeglasses, with plans for more.

Our playbooks can be used by

      • Industries: Last Mile Distribution or Microgrids
      • Specific enterprises seeking to use the playbook to share their business model with affiliates.


What you’ll get:

      • A 12-module course
      • Based on best practices from pioneering social enterprises, industry experts, investors, and other partners.
      • Combined with structured mentorship to support microgrid developers and Last Mile Distribution enterprises launch and grow their business.

We are seeking partners to produce and use playbooks to proliferate successful business models in high-impact areas (e.g. solar energy, water, healthcare). Partners provide playbook content, industry connections, vetted playbook users, and/or funding.

What Is Last Mile Distribution?

Last Mile Distribution enterprises build distribution channels for a range of beneficial products and services to rural or urban populations.

    • They fill gaps and reach areas that traditional distribution is not reaching.
    • They operate either through fixed retail locations, and/or through sales agents who travel door-to-door.

What Are Micro Grids?

A microgrid (or minigrid) is a set of small-scale electricity generators (and possibly energy storage systems) interconnected to a distribution network that supplies electricity to a small, localized group of customers and operates independently from the national transmission grid.

Join A Scale Out Master Class

We can assist rising social entrepreneurs with mature enterprise design and execute scaling strategies for new locations.

    • Scaling is difficult and requires fresh thinking; the approach that made an enterprise successful may not work to scale it!
    • Our Scale-Out team studies and solves the issues that give entrepreneurs the most difficulty when trying to scale.
    • We are currently helping a growing portfolio of select GSBI Alumni entrepreneurs scale their impact 10x-30x in sectors like sustainable agriculture, energy access, and safe drinking water.
Pages from Miller-Center-Replication-Scaling.final+(1)


Shift from running the business to understanding how your business is running

In this paper, we outline some of the challenges and opportunities facing social enterprises globally and describe how the Replication and Scaling Initiative is prepared to assist. We introduce current offerings from Miller Center, notably replication playbooks and scale-out master classes, and provide some examples of social enterprises that are embarking on their own replication or scaling endeavors.


We are poised for the continued growth of Miller Center’s Replication and Scaling Initiative.

Here is some of what we look forward to:

    • Raising awareness in the venture and philanthropic community of the attractiveness of replication and scaling.
    • Expand the curriculum and our partner network globally, to encompass other like-minded organizations including social enterprise accelerators, impact investors, and Catholic social ministries and similar local champions.
    • Expand our roster of Replication Playbooks based on partnerships and funding opportunities. We aim to develop playbooks in areas such as safe drinking water, artisanal models, and business process outsourcing.
    • Conduct Scale-Out and Hybrid mentoring with new enterprises to rapidly increase impact. Then, assess the experience and results of these efforts so we can learn more about ways to keep improving our offerings.
    • Train new mentors to increase our Scale-Out delivery capability.
    • Continue to leverage the value of Santa Clara University and student action research in social enterprise Scale-Out projects.